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Home Living : January 27th 2009
HLS - HOME LIVING: SOUTH, Tuesday, January 27, 2009 1 HOMELIVING » ADVERTISING FEATURE Retaining flexibility Retaining walls are an easy do-it-yourself solution that can evoke an individual flavour in any outdoor abode. Whether used for an alfresco level, a garden edge or a decorative feature, Amber Tiles offers a range of wall stones, bricks and tiles to suit just about any garden design project. Typically built with a straightforward interlocking system, retaining wall installation does not require the skills of a landscape artist. Being extremely flexible in design, the project may encompass straight walls, convex or concave curves, raised garden beds, right angle corners and formal stairs to create a unique landscape effect. The key to retaining walls is their flexibility. Amber's outdoor product expert Mike Barden says the choice of material, whether it's stone, brick or timber, will be dependent upon whether the wall is structural or decorative. ''With a sharp framed splitface and adaptable design, Amber Tiles' Heathstone retaining wall range is ideal for creating an elegant and blissful outdoor retreat,'' he said. Available in a variety of sizes and colours, Heathstone retails from $6.47 per block. Details: Visit www.ambertiles.com.au » ADVERTISING FEATURE Time for renewal When a unit appreciates in price but becomes a bit tired it's time to renovate rather than move, says Graham Wolfe NSW executive director HIA. But it's trickier in an apartment where you can't just build an extension or make major structural changes. However there are many other possibilities. Start with the kitchen and bathrooms, high-use areas which tend to wear out fastest. An upgrade here will immediately add value. A general makeover of the living area could involve changing the carpets, or maybe even ripping out the carpets altogether, exposing and polishing the floorboards. However, beware of the extra noise this may generate, especially if there are neighbours below. A general paint job also works wonders. Built-in cupboards are another possibility, and if there is some spare cash, display this new affluence by upgrading to a better class of furniture. For the more ambitious it may be possible to create some open spaces by knocking out a wall or two, but this will depend on the overall structure of the apartment building and will probably require planning permission. An HIA builder and renovator will be able to provide an estimate of the cost and maybe suggest other possibilities. A real estate agency should be able to give an estimate of the value the planned work will add to the property. Need a tradesperson? Find an HIA professional convenient to you at tradebuild.com.au ............................................... 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January 20th 2009
February 3rd 2009